Stockport tech firm breaks into North American couponing market

Lee and Nicola Evans

The couple behind a Stockport-based app specialist have expanded in America in a deal believed to be worth £20m.

Lee and Nicola Evans run Afin Technologies, which began as SurveyMe.

Using funding from backer, Chester-based investment manager Deepridge and other US funders, they have acquired Entertainment, a provider of local and national price promotions, including shopping and eating out offers, in the US and Canada.

Entertainment focuses on couponing, providing promotional offers for consumers via physcial coupons or through a mobile app.

It currently employs 77 staff in Troy, Michigan. Following the Afin deal it will increase its headcount by 50, while 10 extra jobs will be created in Stockport, almost doubling its workforce.

Previously Afin launched its own couponing app Buxbo in the US. The Entertainment acquisition will consolidate Afin’s North American offer.

Chief executive Lee Evans, who now lives with wife Nicola in Newport Beach, California, said: “SurveyMe started in our spare bedroom in Stockport and we took our first steps of growth in the town. Now under the name Afin Technologies we’re excited to be sharing our expansion in the States with our hometown.”

Ian Warwick, managing partner at Deepbridge Capital, added: “We are delighted to continue to support Afin Technologies on this next step of their journey.

“The acquisition of Entertainment promises to be great news for both parties, with the creation of new jobs and the introduction of a dynamic approach to the coupon market.”

Afin’s chief commercial officer, Mike Stolarski, who had worked at Entertainment for 15 years, will be based at Entertainment’s headquarters in Michigan. The Entertainment brand name will be retained under the new management team.